According to my lofty Google search, an Entrepreneur is 'an individual who sets up a business, taking on financial risk in the hope of financial gain'. Go back and re-read that definition. 'Taking.On.Financial.Risk'. Now that is a mouthful!
Interviewing hundreds of Entrepreneurs over the last decade, I cannot remember ever hearing one of them tell me that the driving force behind their decision to becoming self-employed was to take on financial risk in the hope of financial gain. In fact, the one common factor that they all shared was that they believed that they had an amazing business idea that would offer them 'financial abundance'! However, just as Mr Google states, Entrepreneurs do take on a financial risk and for many, this financial risk is the very reason behind their decision to shut down their business and return to their previous employed status. As many before me, I too was faced with the reality of Self-Employment vs Employee status and many a tear was shed in the process of making my final decisions. Years later, and much more experience under my belt has now shown me that the magic something missing between the dream of becoming self-employed and the reality of being a financially successfully self-employed Entrepreneur is the WHY.
As a curious Professional Coach and Entrepreneur, my wonderment triggered the work that I believe will enrich the 'Entrepreneur' experience BEFORE they find themselves at the moment where they need to decide 'to ride on with the business or to park the business permanently'.
Most Entrepreneurs are creative people who want to spend their working day creating and providing their product or service to the world. They usually set off into the land of self-employment not really understanding the realities of setting up their own business but only focusing on their 'fabulous business idea'. Most often, the creative Entrepreneur absolutely loves their product or service but in the business of owning your own business, the product/service that they love so much is most often the part of the business that they will spend the least amount of time working on. So, how do we enrich the Entrepreneurial experience? Firstly, one must sit down and really understand the big 'WHY' they believe the product/service is going to be a success in the market. More importantly, WHY is it important to their target audience. Clarifying the 'WHY' allows the Entrepreneur to really understand the 'WHY' they went into business in the first place. Most business advice claims that an Entrepreneur should have a solid business plan before they start the business but I would disagree. I believe that an Entrepreneur should have the 'WHY' first and then they can develop the Business Plan afterwards. The WHY will define the HOW and the HOW is the start of the Business Plan. How does an individual know when the 'WHY' is complete? Simple, they can FEEL the importance of their product/service and sometimes the 'WHY' feeling is so strong, they may even get emotional expressing it. The WHY speaks to an individual at their essence. It is at the CORE of who they are as an ENTREPRENEUR and eventually, the WHY becomes their elevator pitch and even the business mission statement. The WHY will be the trigger to NOT giving up when all the evidence would show the contrary. The WHY will drive the business ideas from seedling to full-blown-tree!
What comes next? Once the WHY is clear, concise and concrete, as an Entrepreneur, you can sit down and create the business stages/steps or even the business goal posts. Once again, I would encourage you to always think of the BIGGER PICTURE first and work your way to the present day from there. This stage of the business planning means that as an Entrepreneur, you must stay creative but you must also think of all the elements of your business. A strong Professional Coach will be able to guide the Entrepreneur through these stages from WHY to HOW to NOW. Creating the HOW will definitely take time and a lot of patience. Most clients will need to go home after their session, review the ideas and redraft them before the next session. There should not be a 'hurry up and finish it' attitude between either the Business Coach or the Entrepreneur. A strong WHY will only sound like a fairytale unless the HOW is strong and concrete. Have you created your HOW? When you look at the stages of development, can you feel the essence of your WHY? If not, go back and recreate the HOW. With the business world encouraging more Entrepreneurs and the market becoming even more competitive, the difference between your success and the success of your competitor can be as simple as you having the cutting edge that only your WHY can offer.